I’d love to see something about creating interesting outfits without accessories. Although I hope to add interesting scarves and jewelry to my wardrobe, my budget pretty much restricts me to buying garments and shoes. I’m trying to use layers, and look for more patterned garments as opposed to solid colors, but I’d love more suggestions!
Well! I dug through a LOT of my outfit shots to find some accessory-free ensembles, and could only scrape together a handful. I lean heavily on jewelry and accessories to perk up and/or tie together what I’m wearing, and believe that exploring and employing accessories can help most women build eye-catching and expressive outfits. Minimalist looks done correctly will make a small group of extremely simple, unaccessorized garments look sleek and gorgeous. But few women seek true minimalism for their own looks, and doing minimalism well is a skill I’ve yet to acquire, so I’m more inclined to push accessorization.
That said, the handful of accessory-free outfits I found illustrate some of the keys to making such outfits appear sophisticated and chic.
IMPECCABLY-DESIGNED ITEM AS FOCAL POINT
Most women are more inclined to wear simple clothing with unusual accessories. If you’re going to forgo jewelry and accessories altogether, you’re creating an opportunity to utilize funky, design-y, and unusual garments. Asymmetric detailing, draped layers, proportional play, vibrant color … any of these features help make a garment stand out. Here, my Prairie Underground Long Cloak Hoodie is the main event, supported by a patterned tee and jeggings. The hoodie’s dresslike shape, exaggerated hood, and gorgeous color make it vibrant and compelling enough to carry an otherwise simple outfit.
Patterned scarves make excellent bridging pieces for outfits comprised of seemingly unrelated shades, but patterned shirts, sweaters, and dresses don’t NEED any bridging! Patterns generally include multiple colors and automatically add energy and movement to any ensemble. Even a pattern as rigid and geometric as this plaid appears to sparkle with life; Its bright tones lend vibrance, and the way the sharp lines of the pattern interact with the soft folds of the fabric create a lovely tension. If you’re going accessory-free, utilizing some pattern is never a bad plan. (This is also the technique illustrated in the image at the top of this post.)
SPARKLES AND EMELLISHMENT
Jewelry and certain accessories will add splashes of sparkle to most outfits, but embellished garments can serve the same purpose. Sequins, studs, metallic materials and accents are the obvious choices, but even matte embellishments like embroidery and cloth appliques can pump up a piece. A group of simple garments can appear sophisticated, but one embellished piece in the mix adds interest.
Some philosophies may consider handbags to BE accessories, but in my world they stand a bit apart. And if your clothes and shoes are kept purposely accessory-free, toting a gorgeous bag will up your game instantly. Great handbags needn’t be expensive! Thrifted, hand-me-down, handmade, cloth, and canvas versions can all be elegant and chic. Pick one that suits your overall style as well as your hauling needs.
Do any of you shirk accessories? How do you keep your outfits from feeling flat or dull? Would any of these techniques work for you?
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